A low-flying C-130 Hercules soared over roughly 150 veterans, military members and their families yesterday at a park in the Edmonton Garrison where 10 airmen lost their lives in a tragic mid-air crash 25 years ago.
The flyby was part of a service to mark the anniversary of the fatal crash that involved two Hercules planes — the only dual Hercules mid-air crash in Canada’s history.
Nine people from 435 Squadron, and an American pilot on an exchange from the United States Air Force, died in the crash on March 29, 1985, as three Hercules planes flew in formation during a service for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 61st anniversary.
Two planes, Trucker Lead and Trucker Two, were preparing to land on the runway when they collided, leaving debris scattered across the area.
The third plane took flight again yesterday, thundering past the small crowd after a bugler played the Last Post.
“Every mention of search and rescue on the TV or in the newspapers takes you back,” said retired pilot Austin Ingram, who flew with some of the airmen killed in the crash. “It’s like seeing ghosts from my past.”
Squadron commanding officer Lt.-Col. Richard Pamplin said the crash was a tragic event for the squad’s members. “It is still, that day, part of our history,” said Pamplin. “It is important that we remember.”